mothers2mothers

Ending Cervical Cancer in Africa-it’s Possible Highly Ranked

Lead Organization

mothers2mothers

Cape Town, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa

http://www.m2m.org

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Every two minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer. Most of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, which also has the highest HIV burden. Women living with HIV are up to five times more likely to develop cervical cancer, highlighting the urgent need to increase synergies between HIV and cervical cancer programming. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), is preventable, and, if caught early, treatable. mothers2mothers will scale our proven peer-to-peer approach and enhance the sexual and reproductive health services we provide in five African countries, to help end cervical cancer by: •Adding services focused on HPV prevention, early identification, treatment, and care to reach over 10 million adolescent girls and young women and adolescent boys and young men•Broadening our geographic coverage •Partnering with Village Reach to ensure that HPV vaccines and other health supplies reach the last mile•Strengthening the capacity

Problem Statement

HIV and cervical cancer are major public health threats. While the good news is that cervical cancer is preventable and, if caught early, treatable, in 2018 alone, 311,000 women died of the disease. Most of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan African countries with the highest burden of HIV. Without urgent efforts to scale up primary prevention, screening, and treatment, deaths from cervical cancer could double by 2040.Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Yet the most effective method of primary prevention—immunization with the HPV vaccine before sexual debut—is only accessed by 10% of girls in low- and middle-income countries. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women, and the most common among HIV-positive women, who are also more vulnerable to persistent HPV infections and developing pre-cancerous lesion. This interconnectedness between HPV and HIV offers a potentially positive double dividend to reduce the impact of both diseases—using existing HIV programs as key entry points for integrating/scaling HPV prevention, screening, and treatment—and contributing to creating a longer-term pathway towards the global goal of eliminating cervical cancer. To achieve this, health education, community, school-based, and health-facility HPV vaccination programs for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) and adolescent boys and young men (ABYM), screening, psychosocial support, and access to treatment and care need to be scaled up urgently, and embedded in strong health systems aimed at delivering universal health coverage.

Solution Overview

m2m trains and employs HIV-positive women as health workers called Mentor Mothers, who empower clients through access, health education, and psychosocial support. For adolescent-focused work, we employ young women (18-26 years) as Peer Mentors. Our proven ability to enroll and retain clients in treatment and care provide an ideal opportunity for integrating/enhancing services to prevent and treat cervical cancer. Mentor Mothers and Peer Mentors will provide education and psychosocial support (individual and group-based) in health facilities and communities, coupled with social mobilization to address barriers, including concerns about vaccination, and increase demand for/uptake of services. We will deploy Peer Mentors, matched to client types and age groups, to raise awareness among AGYW and ABYM about HPV infection and promote prevention measures. We will hire nurses to strengthen human resources at health facilities, and conduct mobile outreaches, vaccination, and HPV screening campaigns, aligned with school and Ministry of Health policies. We also aim to increase early identification of HPV infection in women of reproductive age, integrated with management of other STIs and co-infections, and link them to treatment and care. Through partnering with Village Reach, we will assess current supply chain performance, identify gaps and partners for effective implementation at community, district, regional, and national levels. We will establish partnerships with local clinical service providers and laboratories to increase access to HPV vaccination, HPV-infection screening, and treatment for HPV infection, pre-cancer, and invasive cervical cancer. We will conduct regular, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of progress (see Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning section).

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Project Funders

  • USAID - Reducing infections through Support and Education (RISE) II 2017 - 2022
  • USAID – Children and Adolescents are my priority (CHAMP) 2018 - 2023
  • Johnson & Johnson 2019 - 2020

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